Postseason Checklist For Coaches - 9 Essential Items To Keep Your House In Order

House In Order

Whether you are a college coach, high school coach, or middle school coach, there are certain things that are a MUST DO at the end of the season. You want to make sure your house is in order at the start of next season. The items on the checklist will help make sure your team is prepared to tackle next year's season

Spring Cleaning

The list below will help you take care of some of your basketball spring cleaning.

You may have checked some of these items off your list already or maybe you are currently working on your list. No matter where you currently are at in tackling your basketball spring cleaning, the checklist below should help you move forward with that process.

The good news is, that most of the chores on the list aren't too bad....and if you have extra time to take care of them now, it will pay off immensely next season.

With no further ado, here is a checklist of items to make your offseason the most productive one ever!

9 Essential Items for Postseason Checklist

✓ Make Sure to Celebrate

A lot of your seasons started in October or November. Basketball is a LONG season. Whether you accomplished your goals from a won/loss standpoint is not as relevant as the fact thatyou ARE making a positive difference in the life of young men and women. For many of these kids, you are one of the most important figures in their life.

When the season is over, take time to celebrate. Maybe it is just a pizza party in the gym with music, letting the kids hang out and play knockout or 3 on 3 games. Maybe it is at an end of the season banquet, make sure you celebrate with the kids. Let them know how much you appreciate their time and effort. Keep the focus on them, not on the wins and losses.

✓ Take Care of Thanks You's

Ok, this may sound a little old fashioned, but my Mom was right. Thank you's are important. When the season is over, take time to handwrite a thank you to each of your coaches (sorry, email just isn't the same).

It won't take you very long to write a note thanking each of your coaches as well as anyone who volunteers time to your program. Whether it is someone who keeps your book at games or someone who lines up team meals, take the time to handwrite them a note once the season is over. I personally can remember about every note that someone has handwritten me, and I remember appreciating the fact they took the time to write and send a thank you to me.

It is a Small gesture that will make a Big impact on those who have been your corner all season!

✓ Communication with AD

If you don't already have a regularly scheduled postseason meeting scheduled with your athletic director, set one up!

Use the meeting as a time to thank them for their support, as well as discussing or bringing up things that you think would benefit your program the next year. You can also use it as a time to discuss any schedule changes that you'd like to implement the following year or two. Are there items that you feel would benefit your players and your team next year? Now is the time to discuss this with your AD.

✓ Examine Coaching Responsibilities

As you look back at the season, are there roles or duties that other coaches in the system could take over? I'm not saying you should unload the dirty work to your assistants, but you should evaluate if you are doing too much micromanaging or if there are things assistants can do to remove some burden from you and free your time to focus on other parts of the program.

Maybe you have young coaches in your program looking to take on more responsibility. What can you turn over to them that will be a plus for your program next season? Maybe you put one of the coaches in charge of implementing your baseline inbounds plays. You can give them the freedom to implement what they want or it can be your plays and they simply are in charge of teaching them in practice. This might help other coaches in feeling more connected to the program and take a little responsibility off your shoulders.

✓ Evaluate the X's and O's

Sit down either on your own or with other coaches in the program and start to evaluate the X's and O's. What worked and didn't work? What do you need to do next year to be more successful and put your team in a better position to win.

Defensively- Do you need to tweak or teach certain aspects of man to man defense differently? Do you need to have another defensive option? Was our zone D effective? Do you need to find a pressure defense that fits your team?

Offensively- When you are looking at your offense from the past season, what were your teams' strengths and weaknesses? Look at your stats and break things down. Did you not get to the free throw line enough? If not, why? Was this a personnel issue? Or in practice did you not emphasize getting downhill and attacking the basket? Maybe next year you play more uptempo with the change in personnel. Don't leave any stone unturned. Examine all aspects and decide what changes you need to make to be a better offensive team next year and decide how you will go about implementing those changes

Ask yourself the TOUGH question as you look at your offense, defense, and transition systems. If things worked or didn't work, try and dig in and ask yourself WHY....this is what will allow your team to continue to improve and take the next step forward.

✓ Review Offseason Program

Players will often show the most improvement during the offseason. How do you revamp your summer workouts so players get the maximum out of them? You also want summer workouts to be somewhat new and fresh for those players who have been doing them for multiple years.

✓ Provide Player Feedback

Most coaches do this already, but if you don't I highly recommend you sit down with each player on your team and do an evaluation. You can give them a brief questionnaire that they can fill out and bring to the meeting. You can have them list their strengths and weaknesses and you can do the same. This gives you a good jumping off spot to have a productive conversation.

Make sure you help them come up with a plan they can follow to improve their deficiencies. Don't simply say "improve your athleticism" and turn and walk away from them. Help them find a plan to follow.

✓ Find the Positive!

Coaching is not easy these days. You have to be able to step back and look at all of the positive things going on in your program.

It is WAY too easy as a coach to look at a couple of negative issues you are dealing with and focus on those issues. From personal experience, I know how tough it is to look at the positives, but you've got to be able to see these positives. Surround yourself with people who see the positives or you will drown in negative vibes!

✓ Take Inventory

Literally and figuratively. Literally take inventory of what you have for uniforms, warm-ups, practice gear, etc. Better to find out any surprises now instead of a week before the season starts.

Figuratively take inventory of what you can improve. Nobody is perfect. Now the season is over, spend some time objectively reflecting on the season. Pick 1 or 2 specific areas or details that you want to improve on for next year. Write these down so you remember them and can focus on them this summer and upcoming season.

Maybe you want to do a better job of meeting with players individually throughout the season to provide feedback. Set a plan to meet once in November with each player and again in January with each player. Whatever the case may be, set a realistic plan now that you will follow next season.

And Most Importantly....

....Don't forget to take time for yourself! Find time to recharge your mind and body. It is OK to take a break from basketball before you dive right back into preparation for the next season.

Also, a good rule of thumb is to give yourself a few weeks after the season is over before you make any major decision. It will give you a chance to make a calm, rational decision that you won't regret later.

What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments, suggestions, and questions...


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John Baumann says:
4/9/2020 at 12:42:59 PM

Love this idea of taking inventory at the end of the year. All good suggestions. I’m a retired dad coach. Never it did it for a profession. Coached my sons teams until he went to College. Was an all Ivy player at Columbia and was just inducted in their Hall of Fame.

I read your weekly posts and forward many to my son who is now an assistant coach for his local High School team. We love all the materials. Thanks

  1 reply  

Mark Brase says:
4/9/2020 at 4:40:45 PM

John- Sounds like your son was a great player!

Part of joy I get from coaching is constantly learning and picking up new tips from coaches all over, young and old- along with the relationships along the way. .

Hopefully the article is helpful in some way.

Take Care,

Mark Brase


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